Joystick switches & POV

Joystick switches and POV HAT

The joystick game port has only 4 switches. Most joysticks have a POV HAT, which is used to quickly switch between different views (front/left/right/rear) In flight simulation with single monitor setup, I find 4 views insufficient, as the 45o views are often used when flying a traffic pattern. This requires 8-POV HAT capability.

In principle it is possible to use the 4 joystick switches to make 8 views, by using combinations with multiple switches simultaneously ON.

CH flight stick Pro uses this trick to have both joy switches and POV HAT. Their HAT works as following: 12 o’clock: 1,2,3,4 ON 3 o’clock: 1,2,4 ON 6 o’clock: 1,2,3 ON 9 o’clock: 1,2 ON.

For each direction, you can use diodes to the corresponding switches, and in this way create a 4 POV HAT using 4 extra switches and 12 diodes. This is described in another great info site.

Up to now, I haven’t been able to figure out a way to have 4 joy key switches and a 8-POV HAT via the game port. Therefore, my HAT still makes use of the keyboard view keys in Flight Unlimited III. Here, the numerical key pad keys 8, 9, 6, 3, 2, 1, 4, 7 give a full view circle around the cockpit. My HAT drives those keys. (I found such a HAT switch at a electronics dump store)

HAT build from 8-position joy-switch.

It consists of a miniature joystick with 8 contacts around and one center contract. The little pivot can be moved in all directions, and the center contact will touch the outer contacts at 45 degree positions. To make this 8 direction switch drive the keyboard switches, isolation must be provided. I used 8 opto-couplers for this. Since the switch can only have one active contact at the time, one common resistor can be used for all opto-couplers.

I put the HAT on the left handle of the yoke: This is more convenient for switching views when flying the traffic pattern, as your right hand will be busy with the throttle. (I mostly fly Base and Final with left hand on the yoke, and right hand on the throttle).

The left yoke handle with HAT, and the 8-position joy-switch that I used for the purpose.